Former Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre is one of 38 people and organizations being sued by the Mississippi Department of Human Services (MDHS) over millions of misspent welfare funds.
Favre was accused of pocketing $1.1 million in speeches he allegedly didn’t give by Mississippi auditor Shad White, who found that the funds were taken from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families anti-poverty program.
The NFL legend’s hefty contract was to speak at three public events, give a keynote address, and sign autographs at events promoting a nonprofit.
The lawsuit alleges that Favre didn’t perform “any such speaking or autograph ‘services,’” and stated that “certainly no services were performed by Favre that had anything to do with the pursuit of lawful [Temporary Assistance for Needy Families] purposes.”
Last year, White’s probe revealed that $77 million in welfare funds had been “squandered” under the purview of MDHS executive director John Davis, along with mother and son Nancy New, 69, and Zachary New, 39, who recently pleaded guilty criminally misspending the welfare cash.
The New’s received tens of millions in public funding through their nonprofits, which they illegally funneled to “second tier” recipients in the form of contractors and other nonprofits, including Favre, former NFL players Marcus Dupree and Paul Lacoste, and former WWE wrestler Ted DiBiase Sr.
The lawsuit, which will attempt to reclaim over $24 million claims that Favre was tied to both Nancy and Zach, through a Florida-based pharmaceutical company, Prevacus, which he was a primary investor in.
Court documents allege that Favre held a stock sales presentation for the company at his Mississippi home in 2019, where many of the suit’s defendants were in attendance. At the same meeting Nancy and Zach agreed to spend $2.1 million in welfare funds on stock purchases in their names.
“I do not understand these people,” said attorney Brad Pigott. “What kind of person would decide that money the law required to be spent helping the poorest people in the poorest state would be better spent being doled out by them to their own families, their own pet projects, and their own favorite celebrities?”
The Mississippi Department of Human Services is seeking $3.2 million in damages from Favre, who is not facing criminal charges at this time.